GEV Scoping Study: C-H2 Supply Chain Will Be a Competitive Large-Scale Marine Hydrogen Transport Solution

By March 1, 2021 14   min read  (2600 words)

March 1, 2021 |

fuel cells works, GEV Scoping Study: C-H2 Supply Chain Will Be a Competitive Large-Scale Marine Hydrogen Transport Solution
  • GEV has successfully completed a Scoping Study that confirms it can deliver an emission free compressed hydrogen (C-H2) supply
  • The study demonstrates GEV’s C-H2 supply chain will be a competitive large-scale marine hydrogen transport solution up to 4,500 nautical miles (8,300 km).
  • C-H2 provides a simple, efficient, zero emission supply chain for marine transport of 100% green hydrogen, considered to be the holy grail for a net-zero
  • More than US$300B in hydrogen investments globally to be made through to 2030.

 Global Energy Ventures Ltd (ASX: GEV, the Company) is pleased to announce the results of its Scoping Study that demonstrates it can deliver a technically feasible, zero emission compressed hydrogen (C-H2) supply chain with a competitive shipping range using 100% green hydrogen, consistent with a net-zero future.


  • C-H2 supply chain is very competitive for a distance of 2,000 nautical miles (3,700 kms, NW Australia to Singapore) against Liquefaction (LH2) and Ammonia (NH3) and remains competitive to 4,500 nautical miles (8,300 kms, Australia to Japan, South Korea and China). Refer Figure
  • Simple and energy efficient supply chain for export volumes ranging from 50,000 to 400,000 tonnes of green hydrogen per annum, produced from renewable power and
  • Minimal technical barriers for commercialisation to meet hydrogen demand and export market timelines.
  • Results provide GEV with the confidence to rapidly progress the development of the C-H2 Ship and supply chain to the next phase of
  • 2021 program will also include the development of GEV’s own green hydrogen export project to support the construction of a pilot scale C-H2
  • GEV’s proprietary C-H2 Ship design and engineering is progressing, with Approval In Principle expected 1H
  • Following a successful $6.3m placement, GEV is fully funded to advance the C-H2 program for

Martin Carolan, Executive Director of GEV, commented: “GEV is delighted with the results of the Scoping Study, which confirms the C-H2 supply chain is very competitive for the marine transportation of hydrogen at 2,000 nautical miles and up to 4,500 nautical miles.

C-H2 can become a game-changing solution for the hydrogen economy and deliver a timely and energy efficient ‘port to port’ zero emission supply chain for green hydrogen to be produced in Australia for markets in the Asia- Pacific region.

When compared to Liquefaction (LH2) and Ammonia (NH3), we have demonstrated C-H2 is the simplest, with minimal technical barriers to achieve commercialisation in line with timelines for large-scale projects seeking a transport solution.

GEV will now accelerate its plan to address key markets for green hydrogen, alongside advancing the C-H2 Ship approvals from American Bureau of Shipping expected in 1H 2021 and define our own green hydrogen export project in Australia to support the construction of a pilot scale C-H2 Ship.”


In 2015, the Paris Agreement was adopted by almost 200 nations as they embraced the goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit the impacts of global warming. In 2020, governments and industries reinforced this goal with a commitment to net-zero targets from ranging from 2040-2050, with the development of a hydrogen economy being a key pillar to attaining this target.

GEV has the benefit of over 20 years’ experience in the design and engineering of pressure vessels, resulting in  the development of its CNG Optimum ship for compressed natural gas. The move to GEV’s compressed hydrogen ship is a natural progression to meet a market requirement for the storage and marine transportation of hydrogen.

GEV considers a net-zero emission supply chain using marine transport is the holy grail to meet future global demand, and doing so, does not add to the total stock of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Therefore, GEV undertook a Scoping Study to determine the competitive shipping range and technical feasibility of C-H2, using a 100% green hydrogen supply chain analysis, consistent with a net-zero future.

The Scoping Study evaluated exporting green hydrogen volumes of 50,000; 200,000; and 400,000 tonnes per annum, to market distances of 2,000; 4,000; and 6,000 nautical miles, via C-H2, LH2 and NH3 supply chains. To put the studied export volumes in context, it would require very large-scale renewable energy generation such   as the Asian Renewable Energy Hub, one of the world’s top 10 renewable projects to produce green hydrogen, located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Refer to Appendix A for key assumptions of the Scoping Study.

    • The Levelised Cost of Hydrogen (LCOH) for the C-H2 supply chain was very competitive as a marine transport solution for green hydrogen for distances of 2,000 nautical miles (3,700 kms) and remained competitive to 4,500 nautical miles (8,300 kms).
    • C-H2 was viewed as a simple and energy efficient supply chain (refer to Appendix B).
    • C-H2 had minimal technical barriers for commercialisation in the next 5 years (refer to Section 6: Technical Barriers).
    • The Scoping Study assumed a stable and continuous base load supply of green hydrogen for export. This was viewed as challenging in reality, given both solar and wind have variable and volatile daily generation profiles. C-H2 was seen as the solution, as it had the ability to “load follow” such profiles, whereas LH2 and NH3 could


 GEV’s C-H2 supply chain commenced development during 2020 with the detailed engineering of a new marine pressure vessel and the associated engineering requirements to complete the full supply chain. The Company’s rapid advancement of the C-H2 supply chain into 2021 leverages the application of compression, which is a proven technology in the storage and transport of hydrogen today. The application and equipment required for compression in the C-H2 supply chain is the same as GEV’s CNG Optimum supply chain for natural gas, with the exception of the new C-H2 Ship.

The analysis undertaken highlights that compression is an integral component in the design and engineering of all three supply chains, with LH2 and NH3 also compressing the gaseous hydrogen prior to their respective processes. Refer to Appendix B illustrating the various stages in which compression is required for both LH2 and NH3.

The development of a C-H2 supply chain benefits from being a simple and energy efficient process along with having minimal technical barriers for commercialisation in the next five years. In summary, the simplicity of the process as illustrated in Figure 2 (Source: GEV).

  • Compression / Loading: to compress and load the hydrogen from 20 bar up to 250 bar (C-H2 Ship operating pressure). The compressors were assumed to be  electric  drive,  powered  by  renewable  energy from an available grid. GEV assumed an energy requirement of 1.1 kWh/kg  of    A  C-H2  Ship  is always berthed at the port and therefore eliminates the requirement for storage prior to loading.
  • C-H2 Shipping: to transport compressed hydrogen for delivery to the customer. Each C-H2 Ship had a cargo capacity of 2,000 tonnes of hydrogen, with electric drive engine propulsion powered via onboard fuel cells (fuelled by the ship’s hydrogen cargo). GEV has partnered with Ballard Power Systems to develop the onboard fuel cell system requirements. The C-H2 Ship is a closed system and does not result in any boil-off. Further details on the design principles of the C-H2 Ship are set out in Appendix
  • Unloading / Decompression: unloading the C-H2 Ship for the supply of gaseous hydrogen to the customer at the 70 bar pressure requirement. Fuel cells were  assumed  to  power  the  scavenging  compressors, fuelled from the ship’s hydrogen cargo.  The  energy  requirement  was  negligible  due  to  the  high pressure of the ship’s cargo. The C-H2 supply chain eliminates the requirement for onsite storage, as         the C-H2 Ship is itself the


To date, the Australian hydrogen industry has seen several projects announced for the export of green hydrogen through the development of proposed renewable energy projects supported by wind, solar or hydro, and in some cases the combination of wind and solar.

It is expected hydrogen demand centres, including Europe, South Korea, Japan, and parts of China, will  experience significant infrastructure, natural resource and development constraints to produce a sufficient security of supply of green hydrogen. Therefore, key supplier hubs such as Australia will meet this demand more effectively by supplying large volumes of green hydrogen rather than producing it locally.

The conclusions of the Scoping Study confirm that the C-H2 supply chain is very competitive as a marine transport solution for green hydrogen to markets at 2,000 nautical miles and remains competitive at 4,500 nautical miles. GEV’s focus will be on those export project locations from the mid-west of Western Australia (Geraldton), across to Queensland (Brisbane).

The Company will now develop and undertake a detailed marketing plan for the C-H2 supply chain as a competitive and viable alternative for the ‘port to port’ export of green hydrogen from Australia. The illustrative map in Figure 3 outlines the possible locations for export of green hydrogen along with the key markets available within a 2,000 nautical mile and 4,500 nautical mile range.

As outlined in Appendix A, there are various inputs that GEV has used to complete its techno-economic analysis of the three supply chains for the marine transportation of green hydrogen. The analysis also looked at the sensitivity of possible ‘pessimistic and optimistic’ deviations from the model’s base case assumptions. It was noted that the levelised cost of hydrogen was highly sensitive to the internal energy requirements of each supply chain. Table 1 below highlights the areas where such deviation had a +/-10% change to the LCOH. GEV will now concentrate its efforts on the C-H2 areas tabled below in order to further benefit the cost competitiveness of the C-H2 supply chain.

Key areas of LCOH sensitivity (+/-10% swing)

Ship Propulsion System Ship Capital Cost

Price of reliable, base load renewable energy

Boil Off Gas (BOG)

Price of reliable, base load renewable energy

Cracking/Purification Efficiency


A key conclusion of the study was that a C-H2 supply chain had minimal technical barriers to achieve commercialisation in the next 5 years. This timeframe can align with the development milestones of large-scale green hydrogen export projects located in Australia. Table 2 outlines the material technical barriers to commercialisation for C-H2, LH2 and NH3.

Technical Barrier(s)           

ABS Approvals for the C-H2 Ship Construction

Liquefaction at Scale LH2 Storage (BOG)

Cracking/Purification at Scale

The C-H2 supply chain is considered to have a lower technical risk, with final ship design and classification approvals being key.

  • The C-H2 supply chain consists of compressors, pipework, loading infrastructure and C-H2 Ship
  • Hydrogen compressors (designed for pressure as high as 700 bar) have been in operation for decades with the associated piping and loading equipment having already been developed for various onshore applications.
  • The only material barrier is for GEV to achieve American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) C-H2 Ship approvals, with Approval in Principle expected in the 1H

The LH2 supply chain is considerably more complex with additional energy intensive processes as well as onshore storage requirements. The NH3 supply chain uses predominately mature and well-developed technologies with the synthesis, storage and shipping of ammonia having occurred at industrial scale for over a century. However,   if the end user requires pure hydrogen, then major technical barriers exist.

Further detail on the technical barriers of LH2 and NH3 is provided in Appendix C and D respectively.


  • A constant supply of green hydrogen was provided by a third party at a price of US$2.00/kg and at a pressure of 20 bar (from the electrolyser).
  • At the loading location, a certified green power grid met the electricity requirements for compression (C- H2), hydrogen liquefication (LH2), and ammonia synthesis (NH3) at an electricity price of US$0.15/kWh. It was noted that this represented a significant premium to the local renewable energy price due to the requirement of a 100% reliable, base load supply, essential for both the LH2 and NH3
  • Port facilities at the supply and customer points were made available by a third party at no cost for all three supply
  • The power requirements for ship propulsion and auxiliary power was supplied via a fuel cell, powered by the ship’s hydrogen/ammonia A 50% fuel cell efficiency HHV was assumed at this scale.
  • At the customer’s unloading location, the power requirements for scavenging compression (C-H2), regasification (LH2) and cracking/purification (NH3) was supplied via a fuel cell, powered by the hydrogen/ammonia
  • The hydrogen delivered to the customers distribution pipeline was assumed to be at a pressure of 70 bar, and at a purity suitable for fuel cell
  • The key energy use and loss assumptions are outlined for each supply chain in Appendix B

In order to determine the competitive range and advantages of GEV’s C-H2 supply chain, the Scoping Study analysed the levelised cost and energy efficiency of C-H2 against that of LH2 and NH3.

The techno-economic evaluation of alternative hydrogen supply chains of liquefaction (LH2) and ammonia (NH3) was prepared by the Company along with internal cost data and references made available by an external consultant engaged. GEV has also obtained several third party references available in the public domain to complete its analysis. The model includes number of assumptions for the capital, operating and internal energy requirements.


  • Liquefaction / Storage / Loading: liquefy the hydrogen to -253oC / 1 bar for storage prior to loading the LH2 Ship. All facilities were assumed to be electric drive, powered by renewable energy from an available The energy requirement of the liquefaction process (including compression) was assumed to be  11  kWh/kg of hydrogen2(~28% of the hydrogen energy HHV).
  • LH2 Shipping: to transport liquefied hydrogen for delivery to the customer. Each LH2 ship had a cargo capacity of 20,000m3 (1,425 tonnes of hydrogen), with electric drive engine propulsion powered via onboard fuel cells (fuelled by the ship’s hydrogen cargo). The size of the LH2 ship was based on the Approval in Principle recently granted to Hyundai for its 20,000 m3 liquefied hydrogen carrier3. This being significantly larger than the existing Kawasaki Heavy Industries demonstration LH2 ship (1,500 m3).
  • Unloading / Storage / Regasification: unload and store the liquefied hydrogen prior to regasification for the supply of gaseous hydrogen to the customer at  the  70  bar  pressure    An  energy requirement of 2 kWh/kg for the vaporiser/regasification was assumed. Fuel cells were assumed to power       the pumps/compressors and vaporisers, fuelled from the ship’s hydrogen cargo.


  • The largest liquefaction unit currently in operation is 35 tonnes per day (12,800 tpa), which is 4 times smaller than the unit required for the Scoping Study’s minimum volume of 50,000 tpa.
  • The process of liquefying hydrogen typically involves multiple phases (compression, pre-cooling, catalytic cryogenic cooling, expansion, and separation). The combination of these processes is both energy intensive and technologically complex. Although conceptual liquefaction plants with reduced energy consumption and improved exergy efficiency have been considered, but not yet implemented4.
  • The most significant technical barrier for LH2 is the efficacy of the -253oC storage system (both onshore and on the LH2 ship). Boil off is caused by heat ingress from the atmosphere (~20oC) into the stored liquid hydrogen at -253o This heat causes a percentage of the liquid hydrogen to convert into vapour (gas).
  • Commonly referenced boil-off rates of 2% were viewed by GEV as ambitious long-term targets. The 0.2% target is to simply match the fuel consumption of the LH2 ship and avoid handling of excess boil off gas.
  • It was noted that if LH2 was stored in a modern LNG ship (designed for -162°C), the boil off rate would be 5% per day5 and that while the use of double walled vacuum insulated tanks may be practical for onshore storage, marine tanks would require internal supports and anti-sloshing baffles, that may be mechanically impractical6. Significant research and development of the current NASA level technology is required. For these reasons, the Scoping Study assumed a boil off rate of 0%.

Read the Entire Study Here



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